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Oracle® Database PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference
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136 DBMS_RULE

The DBMS_RULE package contains subprograms that enable the evaluation of a rule set for a specified event.

This chapter contains the following topics:


Using DBMS_RULE

This section contains topics which relate to using the DBMS_RULE package.


Overview

This package contains subprograms that enable the evaluation of a rule set for a specified event.

See Also:


Security Model

PUBLIC is granted EXECUTE privilege on this package.

See Also:

Oracle Database Security Guide for more information about user group PUBLIC

Summary of DBMS_RULE Subprograms

Table 136-1 DBMS_RULE Package Subprograms

Subprogram Description

CLOSE_ITERATOR Procedure

Closes an open iterator

EVALUATE Procedure

Evaluates the rules in the specified rule set that use the evaluation context specified

EVALUATE_EXPRESSION Procedure

Evaluates an expression under the logged in user in a session

 
 
 

GET_NEXT_HIT Function

Returns the next rule that evaluated to TRUE from a true rules iterator, or returns the next rule that evaluated to MAYBE from a maybe rules iterator; returns NULL if there are no more rules that evaluated to TRUE or MAYBE.

IS_FAST Procedure

Returns TRUE if the expression can be evaluated fast. An expression can be evaluated fast if the engine does not need to run any internal SQL and does not need to go to PL/SQL layer in case there are any PL/SQL functions referred.

 


CLOSE_ITERATOR Procedure

This procedure closes an open iterator.

Syntax

DBMS_RULE.CLOSE_ITERATOR(
   iterator  IN  BINARY_INTEGER);

Parameter

Table 136-2 CLOSE_ITERATOR Procedure Parameter

Parameter Description

iterator

Iterator to be closed


Usage Notes

This procedure requires an open iterator that was returned by an earlier call to DBMS_RULE.EVALUATE in the same session. The user who runs this procedure does not require any privileges on the rule set being evaluated.

Closing an iterator frees resources, such as memory, associated with the iterator. Therefore, Oracle recommends that you close an iterator when it is no longer needed.


EVALUATE Procedure

This procedure evaluates the rules in the specified rule set that use the evaluation context specified for a specified event.

This procedure is overloaded. The true_rules and maybe_rules parameters are mutually exclusive with the true_rules_iterator and maybe_rules_iterator parameters. In addition, the procedure with the true_rules and maybe_rules parameters includes the stop_on_first_hit parameter, but the other procedure does not.

Syntax

DBMS_RULE.EVALUATE(
   rule_set_name          IN     VARCHAR2,
   evaluation_context     IN     VARCHAR2,
   event_context          IN     SYS.RE$NV_LIST               DEFAULT NULL,
   table_values           IN     SYS.RE$TABLE_VALUE_LIST      DEFAULT NULL,
   column_values          IN     SYS.RE$COLUMN_VALUE_LIST     DEFAULT NULL,
   variable_values        IN     SYS.RE$VARIABLE_VALUE_LIST   DEFAULT NULL,
   attribute_values       IN     SYS.RE$ATTRIBUTE_VALUE_LIST  DEFAULT NULL,
   result_cache           IN     BOOLEAN                      DEFAULT FALSE,
   stop_on_first_hit      IN     BOOLEAN                      DEFAULT FALSE,
   simple_rules_only      IN     BOOLEAN                      DEFAULT FALSE,
   true_rules             OUT    SYS.RE$RULE_HIT_LIST,
   maybe_rules            OUT    SYS.RE$RULE_HIT_LIST);

DBMS_RULE.EVALUATE(
   rule_set_name          IN     VARCHAR2,
   evaluation_context     IN     VARCHAR2,
   event_context          IN     SYS.RE$NV_LIST               DEFAULT NULL,
   table_values           IN     SYS.RE$TABLE_VALUE_LIST      DEFAULT NULL,
   column_values          IN     SYS.RE$COLUMN_VALUE_LIST     DEFAULT NULL,
   variable_values        IN     SYS.RE$VARIABLE_VALUE_LIST   DEFAULT NULL,
   attribute_values       IN     SYS.RE$ATTRIBUTE_VALUE_LIST  DEFAULT NULL,
   simple_rules_only      IN     BOOLEAN                      DEFAULT FALSE,
   true_rules_iterator    OUT    BINARY_INTEGER,
   maybe_rules_iterator   OUT    BINARY_INTEGER);

Parameters

Table 136-3 EVALUATE Procedure Parameters

Parameter Description

rule_set_name

Name of the rule set in the form [schema_name.]rule_set_name. For example, to evaluate all of the rules in a rule set named hr_rules in the hr schema, enter hr.hr_rules for this parameter. If the schema is not specified, then the schema of the current user is used.

evaluation_context

An evaluation context name in the form [schema_name.]evaluation_context_name. If the schema is not specified, then the name of the current user is used.

Only rules that use the specified evaluation context are evaluated.

event_context

A list of name-value pairs that identify events that cause evaluation

table_values

Contains the data for table rows using the table aliases specified when the evaluation context was created. Each table alias in the list must be unique.

column_values

Contains the partial data for table rows. It must not contain column values for tables, whose values are already specified in table_values.

variable_values

A list containing the data for variables.

The only way for an explicit variable value to be known is to specify its value in this list.

If an implicit variable value is not specified in the list, then the function used to obtain the value of the implicit variable is invoked. If an implicit variable value is specified in the list, then this value is used and the function is not invoked.

attribute_values

Contains the partial data for variables. It must not contain attribute values for variables whose values are already specified in variable_values.

stop_on_first_hit

If TRUE, then the rules engine stops evaluation as soon as it finds a TRUE rule.

If TRUE and there are no TRUE rules, then the rules engine stops evaluation as soon as it finds a rule that may evaluate to TRUE given more data.

If FALSE, then the rules engine continues to evaluate rules even after it finds a TRUE rule.

simple_rules_only

If TRUE, then only those rules that are simple enough to be evaluated fast (without issuing SQL) are considered for evaluation.

If FALSE, then evaluates all rules.

true_rules

Receives the output of the EVALUATE procedure into a varray of RE$RULE_HIT_LIST type.

If no rules evaluate to TRUE, then true_rules is empty.

If at least one rule evaluates to TRUE and stop_on_first_hit is TRUE, then true_rules contains one rule that evaluates to TRUE.

If stop_on_first_hit is FALSE, then true_rules contains all rules that evaluate to TRUE.

maybe_rules

If all rules can be evaluated completely, without requiring any additional data, then maybe_rules is empty.

If stop_on_first_hit is TRUE, then if there is at least one rule that may evaluate to TRUE given more data, and no rules evaluate to TRUE, then maybe_rules contains one rule that may evaluate to TRUE.

If stop_on_first_hit is FALSE, then maybe_rules contains all rules that may evaluate to TRUE given more data.

true_rules_iterator

Contains the iterator for accessing rules that are TRUE

maybe_rules_iterator

Contains the iterator for accessing rules that may be TRUE given additional data or the ability to issue SQL

 
 

result_cache

If TRUE, Result Cache will be created. If evalate procedure is called with either true_rules_iterator or maybe_rules_iterator, then result_cache is not enabled.


Usage Notes

Note:

Rules in the rule set that use an evaluation context different from the one specified are not considered for evaluation.

The rules in the rule set are evaluated using the data specified for table_values, column_values, variable_values, and attribute_values. These values must refer to tables and variables in the specified evaluation context. Otherwise, an error is raised.

The caller may specify, using stop_on_first_hit, if evaluation must stop as soon as the first TRUE rule or the first MAYBE rule (if there are no TRUE rules) is found.

The caller may also specify, using simple_rules_only, if only rules that are simple enough to be evaluated fast (which means without SQL) should be considered for evaluation. This makes evaluation faster, but causes rules that cannot be evaluated without SQL to be returned as MAYBE rules.

Partial evaluation is supported. The EVALUATE procedure can be called with data for only some of the tables, columns, variables, or attributes. In such a case, rules that cannot be evaluated because of a lack of data are returned as MAYBE rules, unless they can be determined to be TRUE or FALSE based on the values of one or more simple expressions within the rule. For example, given a value of 1 for attribute "a.b" of variable "x", a rule with the following rule condition can be returned as TRUE, without a value for table "tab":

(:x.a.b = 1) or (tab.c > 10)

The results of an evaluation are the following:

  • TRUE rules, which is the list of rules that evaluate to TRUE based on the given data. These rules are returned either in the OUT parameter true_rules, which returns all of the rules that evaluate to TRUE, or in the OUT parameter true_rules_iterator, which returns each rule that evaluates to TRUE one at a time.

  • MAYBE rules, which is the list of rules that could not be evaluated for one of the following reasons:

    • The rule refers to data that was unavailable. For example, a variable attribute "x.a.b" is specified, but no value is specified for the variable "x", the attribute "a", or the attribute "a.b".

    • The rule is not simple enough to be evaluated fast (without SQL) and simple_rules_only is specified as TRUE, or partial data is available.

    Maybe rules are returned either in the OUT parameter maybe_rules, which returns all of the rules that evaluate to MAYBE, or in the OUT parameter maybe_rules_iterator, which returns each rule that evaluates to MAYBE one at a time.

The caller may specify whether the procedure returns all of the rules that evaluate to TRUE and MAYBE for the event or an iterator for rules that evaluate to TRUE and MAYBE. A true rules iterator enables the client to fetch each rule that evaluates to TRUE one at a time, and a maybe rules iterator enables the client to fetch each rule that evaluates to MAYBE one at a time.

If you use an iterator, then you use the GET_NEXT_HIT function in the DBMS_RULE package to retrieve the next rule that evaluates to TRUE or MAYBE from an iterator. Oracle recommends that you close an iterator if it is no longer needed to free resources, such as memory, used by the iterator. An iterator can be closed in the following ways:

  • The CLOSE_ITERATOR procedure in the DBMS_RULE package is run with the iterator specified.

  • The iterator returns NULL because no more rules evaluate to TRUE or MAYBE.

  • The session in which the iterator is running ends.

To run the DBMS_RULE.EVALUATE procedure, a user must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Have EXECUTE_ON_RULE_SET privilege on the rule set

  • Have EXECUTE_ANY_RULE_SET system privilege

  • Be the rule set owner

    Note:

    The rules engine does not invoke any actions. An action context can be returned with each returned rule, but the client of the rules engine must invoke any necessary actions.

    See Also:


EVALUATE_EXPRESSION Procedure

This procedure allows user to evaluate an expression under the logged in user in a session.

Any re-execute of the same expression with same table alias and variable type will result in reusing the same compiled context. With fixed compile cache size, its possible of aging....

Syntax

DBMS_RULE.EVALUATE_EXPRESSION(
   rule_expression         IN         VARCHAR2,
   table_aliases           IN         SYS.RE$TABLE_ALIAS_LIST:= NULL,
   variable_types          IN         SYS.RE$VARIABLE_TYPE_LIST:= NULL,
   table_values            IN         SYS.RE$TABLE_VALUE_LIST:= NULL,
   column_values           IN         SYS.RE$COLUMN_VALUE_LIST:=NULL,
   variable_values         IN         SYS.RE$VARIABLE_VALUE_LIST:=NULL,
   attribute_values        IN         SYS.RE$ATTRIBUTE_VALUE_LIST:=NULL,
   cache                   IN         BOOLEAN DEFAULT FALSE,
   result_val              OUT        BOOLEAN);

Parameters

Table 136-4 EVALUATE_EXPRESSION Procedure Parameters

Parameter Description

rule_expression

Contains an expression string.

table_alias

Contains alias of tables referred in the expression string.

variable_types

Contains type definitions of variables used in expression.

table_values

Contains ROWID of table row for expression evaluation.

column_values

Contains values of columns referred in the expression.

variable_values

Contains values of variables referred in the expression.

attribute_values

Contains values of attributes referred in the expression.

cache

If TRUE, Result Cache will be created.

result_val

Result of the evaluation.



GET_NEXT_HIT Function

This function returns the next rule that evaluated to TRUE from a true rules iterator, or returns the next rule that evaluated to MAYBE from a maybe rules iterator. The function returns NULL if there are no more rules that evaluated to TRUE or MAYBE.

Syntax

DBMS_RULE.GET_NEXT_HIT(
   iterator  IN  BINARY_INTEGER)
 RETURN SYS.RE$RULE_HIT;

Parameter

Table 136-5 GET_NEXT_HIT Function Parameter

Parameter Description

iterator

The iterator from which the rule that evaluated to TRUE or MAYBE is retrieved


Usage Notes

This procedure requires an open iterator that was returned by an earlier call to DBMS_RULE.EVALUATE in the same session. The user who runs this procedure does not require any privileges on the rule set being evaluated.

When an iterator returns NULL, it is closed automatically. If an open iterator is no longer needed, then use the CLOSE_ITERATOR procedure in the DBMS_RULE package to close it.

Note:

This function raises an error if the rule set being evaluated was modified after the call to the DBMS_RULE.EVALUATE procedure that returned the iterator. Modifications to a rule set include added rules to the rule set, changing existing rules in the rule set, dropping rules from the rule set, and dropping the rule set.

See Also:


IS_FAST Procedure

Given an expression, of either rule or Independent Expression, this procedure will return TRUE if the expression can be evaluated as fast. An expression can be evaluated as fast if the engine does not need to run any internal SQL and does not need to go to PL/SQL layer in case there are any PL/SQL functions referred.

Syntax

DBMS_RULE.IS_FAST(
   expression            IN       VARCHAR2,
   table_aliases         IN       SYS.RE$TABLE_ALIAS_LIST:= NULL,
   variable_types        IN       SYS.RE$VARIABLE_TYPE_LIST:= NULL,
   result_val            OUT      BOOLEAN);

Parameter

Table 136-6 IS_FAST Procedure Parameter

Parameter Description

expression

Expression to check

table_aliases

Alias of tables referred in the above expression string

variable_types

Type definitions of variables used in expression

result_val

If the expression can be evaluated as fast